Jamie Watters, the manager of Wine and Spirits at the Rock Island Hy-Vee, located at 2930 18th Avenue, is doing some neat things at their store. Earlier this year he began hosting educational classes in order to not only promote different products available, but also to inform customers of their options in an ever-growing craft-centric market. It can be very overwhelming these days to walk into a craft beer and spirits section of a store. Mr. Watters is providing fun ways to try out a variety of different things.
He has teamed up with the executive chef of the store, Craig Joos, and they work together to provide delicious food pairings alongside the spirits Mr. Watters choose to feature. Currently they are hosting two events a month, and educational course as well as a beer or wine dinner.
I recently attended the class on the Mississippi River Distilling Company’s (MRDC) portfolio of products currently available. It was hosted by one of the owners, Garrett Burchett, and highlighted 12 different spirits, whiskies, and liqueurs.
As Mr. Burchett walked us through the history of the distilling company located out in LeClaire, Iowa, he would hand out samples and give us tasting notes regarding what we were trying. He rolled out the new bottle shapes that the company will be using now moving forward, and gave us some fun quips about the whole experience of opening up a somewhat controversial business with his brother.
All the while, Mr. Watters would sneak in and hand out different snacks and appetizers to enjoy while tasting, some of which were prepared with the spirits from MRDC. There several different kinds of cheeses and crackers, Black Bean Carnitas with gin-infused pico de gallo, and chocolate cake with gin berry compote.
The event lasted from 6-8pm, held up in the Club Room, which is just inside the East Door, to your left. Jamie Watters was quite welcoming, Garett Burchett held our audience captive with his presentation, and the food from Chef Joos was outstanding. I will definitely attend future events held at the Rock Island Hy-Vee location.
To keep up with what’s coming up next, like Hy-Vee Rock Island on Facebook. You can also email Jamie Watters directly and sign up for his email newsletters, at firstname.lastname@example.org.